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Van Der Heide, N. (2007). Authenticity and Psychoanalytic Technique: A Reconsideration. Int. J. Psychoanal. Self Psychol., 2(3):275-289.

(2007). International Journal of Psychoanalytic Self Psychology, 2(3):275-289

Authenticity and Psychoanalytic Technique: A Reconsideration

Nancy Van Der Heide, PsyD.

Analyst authenticity has largely replaced anonymity and neutrality as a viable contemporary analytic value. Questions arise, however, regarding the compatibility of authenticity with the use of strategically determined interventions, especially those in which the subjectivity of the analyst is in some way contained or removed from the foreground of the encounter (Renik, 1995, 1998; Bass, 1996). Understanding authenticity as comprising transparently “true” expressions of the analyst vis-à-vis the patient is a simplistic formulation that neglects a host of other elements that must be factored into a thorough definition of authenticity. This paper explores the nature of authenticity predicated on the analyst's intentions and based on the philosophical constructs of perspectival realism and fallibilism, together with a consideration of what determines the relative validity of certain therapeutic choices over others. Authenticity is considered in the context of interactive process models of psychoanalysis. This article highlights the need for a greater appreciation for the multiply determined nature of the therapist's authenticity in engaging with his or her patients.

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